Photo via Creative Commons
There has been a LOT of talk over the last week or so regarding changes that Facebook is rolling out. In case you missed the hubaballoo, essentially Facebook is going to be cutting the organic reach of “pages” down to about 1-2%. The result as best as anyone can tell is that in order to maintain an interactive Facebook presence, brands will have to start advertising to drive traffic to their pages. In other words, Facebook is now “pay to play” for companies and organizations. The best post about this that I have read up to this point is by Olivier Blanchard.
Needless to say, a lot of people are freaking out. If you already have just a small amount of “fans” connected to your Page, cutting your reach down to just 1-2% of those people is going to really hamper your efforts. If you have a Page for your cause or organization, what can you do? Here are some ideas.
1. Take a Step Back & Do Some Research
A lot of companies and organizations started Facebook Pages as an automated response to the social media revolution. It was just assumed that everyone would need/want a Facebook page, so why would you NOT start one? The fact is, however, that Facebook is not necessarily a great match for everybody. Are there other organizations like yours on Facebook? Are you not getting a lot of traction? It might be that other marketing tactics may be a better investment of your time anyway. Do some exploring and see if this Facebook thing is something you need to work on or if you can just let your page kind of phase out.
2. Add Other Tactics to the Mix
Even if you do want to continue to work on your Facebook Page, make sure you avoid the temptation to put all of your eggs in any one basket. Having other tools in your marketing toolbox means that even if your Facebook reach does decrease a little, your overall marketing presence will not be hindered.
3. Invite People to Participate in Your Page
Facebook is about people sharing content. That doesn’t change whether it is your organization’s page or someone’s own personal page. If people have the option of really interacting with your organization they will become more invested in keeping up with your page because they will want to see how people react to their content. Find creative ways to entice people to make their own posts, and make sure you share those posts as the page to give that person the spotlight.
4. Don’t Use Tactics Solely for Increasing Fans
One of the reasons Facebook began to crack down on pages last year was that a lot of pages were posting memes that would say something like, “Like if you believe this, Share if you’ve lived it.” This is quite obviously just a way for the page to get more attention, kind of like the black hat SEO tactic of burying tons of keywords behind the actual content of your site. Google got hip to that kind of game, and Facebook got hip to these “share and like” memes. Especially now, when the value of content is so important, make sure that you offer actual content that would be valuable to people interested in your cause. No, it probably won’t get as much attention as one of those memes, but it’s better for you in the long run.
5. Use Facebook as Your Page
This is something I fear not a lot of people know to do, but Facebook gives you the option of using Facebook as your Page instead of as yourself. There are two primary reasons why this is important. First, as your Page you can “like” (read connect with) pages that you support or that are related to your own cause. Additionally, you can comment as your page on other pages’ content. This is a great way to show that your page is active, to subtly draw attention to your cause, and to create relationships as your page.
There is no question that the changes Facebook is making will impact your organization’s page, but it certainly does not have to be the end of the world. I hope this helps!